Introduction

As a student, you may have access to online conferencing. What can you do to help conferencing work well?

This section discusses the reasons why online conferencing is useful, its benefits, how to make online conferencing work for you, and some of the typical problems and solutions relating to it.

“Conferencing gives me the chance to think about what I'm going to say – so I find it much easier to make a w
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3.2.1 How might you use it?

Chat has its limitations for serious discussion, but you may find it helpful to keep in touch with other students. You might ‘meet’ with other students in your group by arranging a time once a week when you can all be online. It can really help to know that there are others out there with problems similar to your own.


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2.6 Back it up

It's a good idea to get into the habit of regularly backing up your work files – things like your notes and assignments. This involves making a copy onto another storage device such as a floppy disk, CD-ROM or memory stick. If anything goes wrong with the hard disk on your computer and you lose all your data, it's some compensation to find that you have a recent copy of your files.

To avoid losing important system files that run your computer, back them up using a data storage system
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2.5 Find out how computers work

The BBC offers an Absolute Beginners' Guide to Using Your Computer (accessed 8 November 2006). This guide is ideal for anyone really new to computers.

If you're interested in the more technical aspects of how computers work and how they've developed over time, have a look at the BBC/Open University Information Communication Technology portal (accessed 8 November 2006).


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Learning outcomes

During this unit you will:

  • learn about how computers can be useful for studying;

  • find out how to be prepared – know the minimum computer specifications for your course or institution;

  • learn what you can do on the web;

  • find out where you can learn more about computers and how they work;

  • learn to back up your files;

  • learn about communicating online using email, real time chat and conferencing;


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Introduction

Information technology is an integral part of courses. It's used to enable students to learn about their subject, contact one another, and find resources.

Using a computer for study can be useful for students on any course. For example, about a half of all Open University courses expect students to use a computer.

In this unit, you'll look at:

  • the different ways you might be asked to use a PC in your course;

  • top tips to ge
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3.2 Using diagrams of your own choice and design

This option is the most challenging and most rewarding, as it clearly shows that you have explored and analysed the source material and reworked it for yourself. In many cases, the source material may not contain any diagrams, simply text or numbers, perhaps expressed as a table. Alternatively, you may have had to make some specific observations or undertake an experiment to produce your own data. In this case, you may be expected to produce a diagram to enhance or improve your assignment. If
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

Tables

Table 1: Source: Transport Statistics Great Britain, 2001, Department for Transport. Crown copyright material is reproduced under Class Licence Number C01W0000065 with the permission of the Controller if HMSO and the Que
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1.3.5 Stage 3: Details

Now examine the piece in more detail. Read it again slowly making sure that you are able to follow its logic from sentence to sentence. Are there any obvious gaps in the argument or any unsubstantiated statements or assertions? Do you agree with its argument or are you attracted by its message? Is its appeal principally emotional or analytical, or both? Analyse the piece in terms of what it doesn't say as well as what it does, and look for its hidden message. What is the scope of the sample o
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1.3.3 Stage 1: Preparation

The task here is very different from our task when faced with numbers, where we need to deal with a high level of abstraction. Writing is often dense and multi-layered, and usually gives us, if anything, too much surface information about our subject. We need to make a mental effort this time in selecting and abstracting information ourselves. In order to do this effectively we need to be aware of the context of the writing. We need to check if we can, for instance, the political and s
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3.3.1 Mapmaking for the twenty-first century

In early mapmaking history, maps were compiled from travellers’ tales, sailors’ logs and other maps. Information could, therefore, come from various sources and different dates. By the nineteenth century, maps were being made by more technically and scientifically rigorous procedures. Recently, mapmaking has benefited from developments in electronic surveillance techniques and computer programming. The Ordnance Surveys are now using aerial photography coupled with detailed checking on the
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • identify some of the important characteristics of maps in relation to their value to social science;

  • recognise and give examples of how maps can influence our “view” of the world;

  • describe the relationship between data and space as represented on a map.


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7.2 Reorganizing notes

The technique of re-reading completed notes and supplementing them with comments and queries is a useful way of processing ideas. Another way of processing ideas is to reorganize notes around a set of questions or thematic headings. This is particularly useful for those notes that you will be drawing upon for planning and writing assignments. They can be reworked and key concepts and ideas can thus be applied to different types of questions and issues.

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3.5 Summary

Phenomenologists focus on how bodies are experienced at a subjective and intersubjective (relational) level. Phenomenological psychologists seek to transcend the mind-body dualism, arguing that all we have is an intelligent body, with the body and mind one and the same: not simply biology; we are our body and, through this, perform selfhood. This bodily experience is also often pre-reflective and extra-discursive – we experience and use our body before we think about it. And it is through u
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2.2 Body as ‘identity project’

In Western culture, television ‘makeover’ shows in which individuals opt for plastic surgery or are given advice on clothes, makeup, diet and exercise have gained considerable popular appeal. It seems that large numbers of people are buying into the idea that lives can be radically changed through such makeovers. Supposedly unattractive people who are unhappy with their lives are transformed into supposedly more beautiful and happy people leading satisfying lives. In reality, however, doe
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this study unit you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of fundamental aspects of the theory and methodology underpinning phenomenological psychology;

  • critique simplistic mind–body, individual–social and agency–structure dualisms and appreciate how the body, self and society are interconnected;

  • describe how phenomenological psychologists conceptualise the body.


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Further reading

Styles, E.A. (1997) The Psychology of Attention, Hove, Psychology Press. A very readable textbook, which covers and extends the topics introduced in this unit.

Pashler, H. (ed.) (1998) Attention, Hove, Psychology Press. An edited book, with contributors from North America and the UK. Topics are dealt with in rather more depth than in the Styles book.


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1.4 Eavesdropping on the unattended message

It was not long before researchers devised more complex ways of testing Broadbent's theory of attention, and it soon became clear that it could not be entirely correct. Even in the absence of formal experiments, common experiences might lead one to question the theory. An oft-cited example is the cocktail party effect. Imagine you are attending a noisy party, but your auditory location system is working wonderfully, enabling you to focus upon one particular conversation. Suddenly, from
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Introduction

For many of us the concept of attention may have rather negative connotations. At school we were told to pay attention, making us all too aware that it was not possible to listen to the teacher while at the same time being lost in more interesting thoughts. Neither does it seem possible to listen effectively to two different things at the same time. How many parents with young children would love to be able to do that! One could be excused for feeling that evolution has let us down by failing
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2.3.4 Symbolic data

The fourth kind of data is essentially symbolic – symbolic creations of minds, such as the texts people have written, their art, what they have said (recorded and transcribed), the exact ways they use language and the meanings they have communicated. These symbolic data are the products of minds, but once created they can exist and be studied and analysed quite separately from the particular minds that created them. These kinds of data are used to provide evidence of meanings, and th
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